If the Final Four were held this weekend, here’s the lineup:
Gonzaga? Mmmm, no. Why? No Defense. And their schedule is ... getting tougher but it’s like a BIG 12 or BIG 10 or ACC schedule.
Villanova. Maybe, but you got blown out by Georgetown. I know that was over a week ago, but still ...
Arizona? Maybe. You’re playing defense now. See, you’re sorta like Duke. You play one aspect of the game really well, when you’re of the mind to do so. You play defense. Duke plays offense.
Wisconsin? Maybe. But you have a star player, Traevon Jackson, injured.
Of these four, I’d go with Arizona and Villanova.
Virginia. Kentucky loses to Virginia, in a close one.
Technically, I think that’s accurate. But Coach Cal has more experience in these kinds of close games. On the other hand, Virginia’s players are older, seen more games. That’s why it’s a close one.
Duke. Down by 10 and playing this season’s version of Matador Defense ... I saw another first round exit coming up if they even made it to the tournament. Seriously, up until then that was a soft, soft team on defense and rebounding. Then Coach K inserts Plumlee and he grabs a huge rebound and the team ignites. Course, it helped that St. John’s self-incinerated, too. Still, could this be a turning point for their season when the kids realize they have to play hard every game, both halves and both offense AND defense (Quinn Cook?)? If they do, then they’ll be very tough. If they don’t and the kids decide in that first round game to mail it in, f’it I’m outta here ... it’ll be another first round exit.
Duke’s next game is at Notre Dame, then Syracuse, Virginia and UNC.
Maryland. Your horse came up hobbled against Indiana. But from what I saw, your defense was good, not great. But good enough that Indiana’s hot shooting was beautiful to see but a classic one and done. Sure enough Indiana lost to ... Ohio State.
Utah. I’m staying with them despite their big loss to Arizona.
Kansas. Looked very good against Texas. Some new players are stepping up. Perry Ellis is so smooth. Alexander's a bruiser. We’ll see.
Texas. They’re coming on, Isaiah Taylor plays better every game and so does the rest of the team: Ridley's a beast and plays with a bit of attitude, Miles Turner is more confident, Javan Felix and Jonathan Holmes, too. Their run through the tourney will be dependent on their seed.
West Virginia. Sure, you needed overtime and poor free-throw shooting by TCU to beat them. But you’re defense is crazy and what’s won with defense? Championships. That assumes you can score and WVU has scorers, unlike Alabama and VCU ...
LOST THEIR STEEDS
Iowa. Losing by 30 and their center poking the eyes of the opponent. Yeah.
Iowa State? Maybe, probably not. You had a let-down at Texas Tech. It happens. It happens again, then you have a problem.
Oklahoma. You looked so indomitable against Texas. What have you done since then? You’re and 4 with losses to WVU (blowout), K-State (really?), Kansas and B-B-Baylor. Baylor. Not good.